Picture a big, rectangular table at the far end of a room full of smaller ones occupied by hungry people – yes, you’re in a restaurant. The table in the back is currently occupied by 20 young teens and not enough adults to contain the mischievous young boys. One of those boys is me. We’re speaking loudly, laughing as we throw food at each other between bites. The adults try to control us, or at least minimize the number of inappropriate actions, but they are outnumbered and, quite frankly, they find some of the antics entertaining. On the ice, we are a team; in public, we’re an unpredictable disaster. No matter where we are, we’re a family.
Much like in the video, my teammates and I all come from different backgrounds, have different upbringings, different life experiences, and some of us even have different outlooks on life, but our love of hockey and our dedication to the sport and the culture of winning has created a bond that is often misunderstood or over-simplified by those who have never been part of a team.
Back at the restaurant, the boys and I are enjoying our well-deserved meal consisting of pasta, chicken wings, milk and chocolate cake — the victory meal every thirteen-year-old dreams of. Pasta sauce adorns our smiling faces, and the occasional slice of bread flies from one side of the table to the other. Once the meal is over, we slowly make our way out, and the waitress breathes a sigh of relief as we exit the restaurant.
We head back to our respective vehicles and exchange a few high-fives along the way. I sit in the back seat of the car as my friend and his dad sit up front. When we pull out of the parking lot, I stare out of the window and watch my teammates slowly disappear in the horizon as we drive away.
Even though most of us have drifted apart over the years, I still remember my former teammates with fondness, and I’m grateful for having had such a large family growing up.
After spending ample time confined to a cubicle, Pierre has decided to hang up his suit and tie in order to pursue a writing career. He is a student at Algonquin College, in his final year in the Professional Writing program. Outside of class, Pierre is a passionate individual with a penchant for learning. A self-proclaimed nerd at heart, he also enjoys playing baseball and hockey, running, and over-analyzing things. On a rainy day, you can find him at his typewriter, transcribing his inner monologue.